March 28, 2015

The only gays in the village

Pride (Matthew Warchus, 2014). A cheerful recreation of turbulent times: Matthew Warchus and writer Stephen Beresford tell the unbelievable but generally true story of a London gay rights group who came to the aid of Welsh miners during the big strike of 84/85. While the storytelling is a little loose and the mode is resolutely feelgood in the near-formulaic manner of triumphant post-Thatcher comedies from the 90s (Brassed Off, The Full Monty), there is some fine acting – Paddy Considine and Bill Nighy as Welsh locals, Ben Schnetzer as activist Mark Ashton – and such obvious good intentions within the Bronski/Bragg nostalgia. But aren’t there times when history would be better served by a well-made documentary? (“There were seventeen of us who came down in that first minibus … Eight of us died in the following years, of HIV/AIDs.” That detail hits harder than any moment in the picture.)